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Why 80 stocks saw an unusual spike

July 03, 2009 09:24 IST
Nearly 80 stocks on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Thursday witnessed an unusual price movement of up to 20 per cent. Belonging to 'S' and 'Z' categories and the trade-to-trade group, these scrips normally attract 5 per cent circuit breakers.

Similarly, Transcrop International Ltd, a 'B' group scrip, fell 30.14 per cent to close at Rs 33.15. Stocks in the 'B' group normally attract a maximum circuit breaker of 20 per cent on BSE. Even an 'A' group stock, Hindustan Copper, which generated a massive volume of 1.56 lakh shares on Thursday, recorded a high of Rs 278 against its upper circuit of Rs 245.95.

Apart from this, the counter of Assam Tea Company, a 'B' group stock, witnessed a 1.38-crore block deal at Rs 77 even though the share was being traded at around Rs 16. The block deal was later reversed by BSE.

Gramac Infrastructure Equipment and Projects, Fertilizers & Chemicals Travancore Ltd, National Fertilizers Ltd, Ahluwalia Contractors and Asian Oil were other 'B' group stocks that recorded prices higher than the circuit breakers on huge volumes.

According to market players, BSE did not issue any clarification during the day, nor did the exchange halt trading in these counters to examine the problem.

Lesser known stocks such as Empower Industries India Ltd, Bhagyashree Leasing & Finance, Sturdy Industries, Rama Phosphates, RAS Extrusions, United Drilling, Women Networks and Integra Capital Ltd emerged as the top gainersĀ  with a 20 per cent rise. Strangely, the volume in some of these stocks was as low as 100 shares.

When contacted, a senior BSE official said there was a 'technical snag' and trading would resume on Friday with normal circuit breakers. BSE, however, did not answer an email query asking it about the technical error and how it happened.

Market sources said that some brokers were planning to approach legal experts to present a case before market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). Out of the 80 scrips, 30 rose over 10 per cent and 12 fell more than 10 per cent, triggering stop-loss of share traders. Brokers were also asking for additional margins from clients as these erroneous trades had caused them huge losses.

The problem, say experts, is that when the exchange does not reverse 'illogical or artificial trades', the price of a particular stock, which is part of this error, remains at a level that it could have never touched in the near future. Proper action and withdrawal of all such trades are necessary, they say.

Palak Shah in Mumbai
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